Chinese Consumer Study: Online Purchases On The Rise

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New studies show that when Chinese consumers are shopping for a particular product, their first stop is to utilize online platforms. This goes to show how dominant online shopping has become in China. The study was performed by PwC, a consulting firm that surveyed over 19,000 consumers from over 19 countries. The results shown that 85% of Chinese consumers will utilize an e-commerce platform for the research and purchase of their new product.

Surprisingly, many Chinese consumers are seeing these products in physical stores through showrooming, a practice that is more common in China than in other parts of the world. However, consumers would never buy the product in these settings. Around 86% of consumers admitted they saw the product in store, which is higher than the global average of 68% of people who see products in stores to buy. So what is the main reason for the turn to online platforms for the purchase of new products?

Price influences most online buying decisions

It seems that most Chinese consumers are utilizing these online platforms as not only their go to place for new products, but also to price search certain purchases before buying. Only 64% of consumers look at products online to buy in store later. This is slightly lower than the global average of 70%.  Chinese consumers are looking for the best deal that they can find, whether this is online or in store. However, it seems that most Chinese consumers find the lower price to be in the online platforms compared to physical stores.

The study performed by PwC was in an effort to show the blurring lines between e-commerce and physical store shopping. Many individual store fronts are going online and offering products in store, so they can please the vast majority of Chinese consumers. However, this new study does outline the fact that Chinese brands are going to have to do more than just offer decent prices to attract consumers. Consumers are looking for offers that are individualized, along with the lowest prices out there.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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